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5 Superstitions Believed Around The World For Number 13

By: Pinki Sat, 25 May 2019 08:05 AM

5 Superstitions Believed Around The World For Number 13

Number 13 is a natural number that follows after Twelve and proceeding number fourteen. As per the English language source, it relates as “unlucky number.” However, the number is widely categorized as a member of the group of evil numbers as well. A large portion of the population all around the world choose to shed a negative light on number Thirteen.

Have you ever used the word ‘ Triskaidekaphobia’? Did you hear or read the word for the first time just now? The majority of us did, including me. Interestingly, most of us suffer from this phobia without even realizing it. It was a word coined a hundred and eight years back in 1911 to denote the irrational hatred or the fear of number 13. You read it right. The panic regarding this number has been so widespread over the century that there is an actual phobia name based on it. Even more than facts or observations, the superstitions that have been passed on through myths and generations after generations have contributed immensely in the spread of this phobia. The term comes from the Greek language, where Tri means three, kai means and, Deka says ten and phobia as we all know, refers to fear.


The superstitions surrounding the number Thirteen dates back to even the Mayan civilization that existed millenniums ago. The end of Mayan calendar’s, i.e. the thirteenth Baktun was feared as a harbinger of the apocalypse that was believed to happen in 2012. Even though the feared destruction did not take place, the fear regarding the number remains intact.

It is also interesting to note that there are generally thirteen full moons in a year and it was believed that women who lived in nature and menstruated during full moons were witches. The number thirteen is even more intrinsically linked with the supernatural in general and the witchcraft cult in particular through the belief that witches used to gather in covens of twelve and during such times, the Devil would be present with them as the thirteenth attendee.


According to popular English lore, it is believed that there are thirteen steps to the Gallows- Twelve up and one down. If we look closely at the old photos of public hangings and execution, we could count the number of steps to the platform as thirteen. Technically it is believed that this allows a reasonable drop distance and a neatly broken neck and easy body removal, which usually hangs close to the floor. Well, the place which is known to strip an individual of life has never been seen in a positive or lucky perspective. Neither has been the number of steps leading to it. Example, If we talk of gallows, a hangman’s noose has Thirteen knots too.

superstitions,superstitions for number 13


According to the Scandinavian mythology as well as in The Kabbalah, the school of thought in Judaism, the number of existing evil spirits listed is Thirteen which again links the evil. The connection of sin and Thirteen can also mention in the Bible’s book of Apocalypse, also known as the Book of Revelation, the final book in the New Testament of the Bible.


It is widely said that a Sixteenth-century numerologist recorded that the Jews murmured Thirteen times against the Almighty in the Exodus from Egypt, the journey which continued for forty years. Since it was against the conventional ecclesiastical authority, Thirteen is therefore also looked down upon as a number included in the rebellion against God himself, thus adding to its notoriety.


According to a widely spread Greek lore, Tuesday, especially the Thirteenth is considered to be a very unlucky day. It must be noted that Tuesday is regarded to be dominated by the influence of Ares, who is worshipped as the God of war in Greek mythology, known as Mars in Roman mythology. It adds another dimension and that too a violent one to the phobia that is widespread against the number Thirteen.

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